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Full text of "How to fight war : isolation, collective security, relentless class struggle"

How to Fight 

WAR 



Iisolatioii ^^ 
Collective SecurilY m 
Relenilessi Class Sfrti^^le 



by 
JAMES BURNHAM 



3 



SOCIALIST WORKERS PARTY 

andl 

YOUI^IG PEOPLES SOCIALIST LEAGUE 

(4iK Internationalists) 



Um^ to- fi^ H/c^ 



INTRODUCTION 

This pamphlet was published originally as a series of ar- 
ticles in the Socialist Appeal. Since its publication, there has been 
developing a new pacifist, isolationist combination going under 
the name of the "Keep America Out of War Committee." This 
Committee has already held mass meetings in several cities, and 
is looking forward to a national congress in the near future. 

The mushroom growth of such movements is a normal 
feature of a pre-war period — indeed, they must be understood as 
an integral part of the war preparations. Their function is to ex- 
ploit the widespread and genuine anti-war feelings among the 
masses, and to divert these feelings into channels entirely harm- 
less to the imperialist interests. Through the false and illusory 
ideas which these movements spread, the masses are ideologically 
disarmed; and, when the time comes for serious business, are 
left ripe for plucking by the war-makers. 

The "Keep America Out of War Committee," in the Call 
it issued to its New York meeting, and in the speeches delivered 
at that meeting, has already shown its true colors. The Call it- 
self constitutes in reality a program — a program faithfully re- 
flecting the hodge-podge social composition of the Committee, 
ranging from the Altman-Thomas Socialists and the Lovestone- 
ites to retired Major Generals and small-time Congressmen. 

Any attack against capitalism, any mention even of the 
relation between capitalism and war, is carefuly avoided. No 
word is spoken of the role of the working class in the struggle 
against war. The Call is addressed to "citizens," and citizens of 



"our" country. Room for New Dealers is made by sidestepping 
any direct criticism of Roosevelt's war policy, and by failing 
even to recognize it as a war policy. A place is made even for 
supporters of collective security through the demand for "Amer- 
ican cooperation for international peace — but no alliance with 
any nation or group of nations for war. . ." 

At the New York meeting, the leading orators such as 
Homer Martin and Maj. Gen. Wm. C. Rivers, after mild com- 
plaints against collective security and meddling in other nations' 
affairs, loudly called for the defense of the United States if "at- 
tacked." As everyone knows, all imperialist nations, on all oc- 
casions, are "attacked" and must "defend" themselves, when 
they get ready to go to war. Even Italy explained how it was 
attacked by Ethiopia ; and Japan, by China. 

The "Keep America Out of War Committee," it should 
be clearly noticed, is in no sense whatever a United Front. It 
is a political bloc of various tendencies, based not upon a plan 
for joint specifc actions (as would be the case with a united 
front), but upon a political program. Enough of this program 
has already come out to characterize it. As indicated sufficiently 
in the references I have given — and summed up for that matter 
in the fatally illusion-breeding name of the organization — ^this 
program is thoroughly deceptive and reactionary. 

Ironically enough there are to be found on this Committee 
(in some cases perhaps without their having been fully aware 
of its implications) many individuals in the past noted for their 
opposition to the Stalinist American League against War and 
Fascism, recently re-christened the League for Peace and De- 
mocracy. The new Committee is distinguished from the Amer- 
ican League in its early stages only by being much further to 
the right. 

One must speak the truth plainly on the issue of war. The 
s"Keep America Out of War" movement is in no respect a blow 
at the war and the war-makers. It is a blow at the revolutionary 
struggle against war. It is a device for the deception and dis- 
orientation of the people, above all of the workers. That is 
the truth. 

The struggle against the war is the struggle against capi- 
talism. The way to fight the war \s to make the workers' revo- 
lution, and that is the only way to fight it. This is the truth; 
and whoever hides this truth is guilty of crime and treachery 
against the people. 



I— BROWDER DEFENDS IMPERIALISM 

When Marxists state that StaHnism now functions in the 
world labor movement as a counter-revolutionary force, as the 
chief obstacle in the struggle for workers' power and for so- 
cialism, there are still, of course, many who do not believe them. 
There are, for example, honest members and sympathizers of 
the Communist Party itself who think that this altogether sober 
and scientific analysis of the Marxists is the slander and ravings 
of "mad dogs." Such persons are compelled by their own con- 
science to think in this manner. 

They diflfer in their whole moral makeup from the cynical, 
depraved and shameless bureaucrats who actually run the Com- 
munist Parties of the world. In their own hearts, they sincerely 
want socialism; and they believe that the only road toward so- 
cialism lies through support of the Communist Party, which they 
mistakenly look upon as the heir to — instead of the most bitter 
enemy of — the October Revolution. If they understood the true 
role of Stalinism, they would abandon it overnight. That is 
why we must dissect every concrete manifestation of Stalinism, 
in order to remove the false outer skin and lay bare the internal 
decay. 

It will need no argument to prove that today the war 
question is the decisive question. Since it is the decisive question, 
the answers given to it provide the surest touchstone to the 
character of every political movement. To anyone who doubts 
what the Stalinist answer is and means, the New Republic of 
February 2 offers an easy and spectacular way of clearing up 
those doubts. 

In this issue of the New Republic there is published a de- 
bate between Earl Browder and Charles A. Beard on the general 
subject of "Collective Security." I propose to analyze Browder's 
arguments in this debate, as well as those of Dr. Beard, and in 
particular to discuss the whole conception of "collective secu- 
rity." I wish, to begin with, to consider the point of view from 
which Browder writes. 

Naturally enough, Stalinists pretend to their own followers 
that they write from the point of view of the international pro- 
letariat. Even a brief survey of Browder's article in the New 
Republic can demonstrate beyond any doubt that he is reason- 
ing and writing from the point of view of the defense of U. S. 
imperialism. 



In no line does Browder even suggest that his policy is a 
working class policy, or an independent policy of any kind. He 
himself speaks openly for Roosevelt's policy. The cover of the 
magazine correctly reads: "Earl Browder — for the President's 
Policy." "Clearly, then," Browder writes, "in our country the 
task is to organize effective support, behind the President's 
policy, of the 27,000,000 who voted for him in 1936." Reply- 
ing to Bruce Bliven's objection that his policy is peculiarly 
"Russian," Browder says: "We will not quarrel with Mr. Bliven 
as to how the policy could be best 'framed in American terms' ; 
we are willing to leave that to the President. . ." 

The President, according to Marxism, is the chief political 
executive of the ruling class, the bourgeoisie, in this country. 
Browder, by his own words, accepts the war policy of the chief 
executive of the bourgeoisie, accepts it one hundred per cent, 
and is willing to leave its fuller formulation altogether to that 
chief executive. 

In Browder' s article, the class struggle — according to Marx- 
ism the motive force of history, from an understanding of which 
all Marxian analysis of all social and political problems proceeds 
— is mentioned only once. There is no word of the class strug- 
gle in the discussion, either of the causes of, or the cure for, war. 
On the one occasion where the class struggle appears, it is cited 
as one of the major weaknesses of the United States as against 
Japan; and, it therefore follows, as a factor which must be 
overcome if an "effective peace policy" is to be achieved. 

Browder's argument thus advocates the suppression of the 
class struggle, as a necessary part of the means for achieving what 
he calls an effective peace pohcy. This does not appear so odd 
when we understand that in reality Browder wants to achieve 
not a peace but a war policy for the United States: suppression 
of the class struggle is, in fact, necessary for an effective war 
policy on the part of a capitalist nation. "But America, rich 
and full of potential booty, is still considered by thejvorld to be 
in a pacifist funk, is torn by a constitutional crisis and sharp 
class struggles, and contains powerful forces that would welcome 
Japanese aggression for their own fascist ends." 

Browder's article is filled with the frankest jingo appeals 
to the interests of U. S. imperialism. "A continuance of isola- 
tion policies by the United States will surely convince the arro- 
gant militarists of Tokyo that now is the time for them to take 
over the Philippines, Hawaii, Guam and Alaska, as guarantees 



against the future, when the United States might dare. From 
that it would not be a large step to recall how much more suc- 
cessful are Japanese than Americans in cultivating the beautiful 
and rich lands of California." This is the crux of Browder's 
argument. 

He continues it by stating that the United States is in more 
danger from Japan than is the Soviet Union. "A continuance 
of the same line (pursued up to now by Japan) leads her not 
to Vladivostock, Habarovsk and Chita, but rather to Manila, 
Honolulu and Nome." That is to say, Browder's central argu- 
ment in favor of his own war position is that his policy alone 
can protect and defend — what? The working class.-' The strug- 
gle for socialism? Not in the least. His policy, he says in his 
own words, alone can defend the possessions of U.S. imperialism. 

There is nothing more revealing in this article than Brow- 
der's use of "our" and "we." In every instance these words 
stand for the United States as a nation — that is, for the impe- 
rialist state. For Marx, the workers had no fatherland until they 
conquered one for themselves. Browder is less lonely. "Our 
country" appears a dozen times. "If we continue to desert them 
to their fate, as Mr. Bliven advocates, we will have no one to 
blame but ourselves when we have to take up the full military 
burden imder more unfavorable conditions." Browder speaks 
these days with the full rounded phrases of a statesman. But 
not, he is careful to make clear, of a statesman of the working 
class. "We," says Browder, we and the other representatives 
of the imperialist United States, will be ready to assume "the 
full military burden" even "under more favorable conditions." 

The most startling and naked of all the sentences in this 
remarkable article is, however, the following: "Only the cour- 
ageous implementing of the policy laid down by President Roose- 
velt in Chicago can save our country, and all the capitalist 
world, from unparalleled reaction and catastrophe." Criticism 
itself becomes tongue-tied when faced with such a remark. 

Whom is the working class called upon by Browder to 
save? He answers: "Our country, and all the capitalist world." 
And what must this capitalist world be saved from ? He answers : 
"From catastrophe." But what is catastrophe for the capitalist 
world? Catastrophe for the capitalist world is, and is only the 
socialist revolution. Browder's entire article is summed up in 
this clarion call: join with me to save capitalism from the so- 
cialist revolution. 

6 



II— WHAT IS COLLECTIVE SECURITY? 

The current war program of the Stalinists is summed up 
in the phrase, "Collective Security." Earl Browder's half of 
the New Republic debate with Charles A. Beard, subsequently 
reprinted in The Daily Worker, is entitled "For Collective Se- 
curity." The Communist Party has recently issued several pam- 
phlets with the same title. We must enquire further into the 
true meaning of Collective Security. 

At first glance, the program of Collective Security seems 
reasonable and practical to many people. "Clearly," argues Brow- 
der, "in this relation of forces, there does exist the possibility 
of preventing the spread of war, and of extinguishing the wars 
going on, provided the peace-loving 90 per cent can arrive at 
a concerted program of action, at least to a degree in some re- 
lation to that of the concerted action of the Triple Alliance of 
the "anti-Communist' bloc of fascist states. . . Considering the eco- 
nomic resources of the war-makers, it would clearly be sufficient 
to bring them quickly to a halt if the United States, France, 
Britain and the Soviet Union should jointly declare an embargo 
upon all economic transactions with the aggressors. . ." 

How can anyone object to such a calm and virtuous pro- 
posal? No wonder Browder is indignant at the scoundrels who 
insist on criticism! 

But let us, approaching this as all questions from the point 
of view of the interests of the working class, ask: First, even 
assuming that Collective Security might preserve peace, is it a 
correct program; and, second, whether it can in fact preserve 
peace — or whether it is even designed to preserve peace. The 
Collective Security — ^No. 4 

answer to both of these questions requires a brief account of 
the origin of the idea of Collective Security. 

The idea of Collective Security is not an invention of Brow- 
der, nor of Litvinov nor of Stalin. It arose in the camp of the 
Allied Powers during the latter part of the War of 1914-18, 
^ and was part of the basis for the construction of the "Versailles 

[ system." Its chief early advocate was Aristide Briand, the rene- 

j gade from socialism who became during that time an outstanding 

f spokesman for French imperialism. 

j The theory of Collective Security was as follows: The Al- 

lied Powers had won the war, and taken for themselves the 
rich spoils of conquest. France and Great Britain, particularly. 



being satisfied with the results, glutted with colonies and other 
booty, wanted a method of protecting the spoils against any 
rival who might try to make a bid for them, either from among 
the defeated Central Powers, or from their own less satisfied 
allies. Briand wanted to solidify the imperialist division of the 
world as it existed at the time of the Versailles Treaty. 

Collective Security was the plan for accomplishing just this 
sohdification. All of the nations (united in the League) were 
to take joint steps against any nation which might attempt to 
break through the existing imperialist division. In addition, it 
was, of course, understood that collective action would above all 
be exercised against a bid for power by the working class of any 
nation — which would naturally be the greatest of all threats 
against the existing imperialist division. 

It was as if two coalitions of gangs had been fighting for 
control of a racket, in, let us say, Brooklyn. The winning gang, 
having consolidated its victory, decreed that henceforth "peace 
and order" were to reign over Brooklyn. All the gangsters to- 
gether would take collective action against any rival gang which 
attempted to muscle in. And, of course, similar collective ac- 
tion would likewise be taken against any group of honest citizens 
who tried to break up the rackets themselves. 

In the case of the gang, it is clear enough that Collective 
Action is hardly the answer to the problems of good citizens. 
Their interest is to smash all of the gangs, and to get rid alto- 
gether of the rackets. 

The case of the imperialist powers is exactly the same. 
Even if Collective Security could preserve "peace," that would 
mean simply protecting the dominant imperialist positions of 
the Anglo-French bloc; protecting their right to exploit the 
major part of the world; safeguarding their rule of starvation 
and terror in India, the Near East, Indo-China, Africa; guaran- 
teeing for eternity their right to the exploitation and oppression 
of the workers in the home countries. 

The workers have absolutely no interest in the preserva- 
tion of any imperialist division whatever, no matter what nation 
or group of nations a given division favors. Their interest is to 
overthrow the whole imperialist system; and, if mankind is not 
to revert to barbarism, to do so in the shortest possible time. 
The program of Collective Security, which is the program for 
the preservation of an Anglo-French dominated imperialist sys- 
tem, is thus crassly and directly counter-revolutionary. 



However, in any case the assumption that the program of 
Collective Security might preserve peace is directly contrary to 
fact. Italy, Germany, Japan do not begin military operations, 
do not try to upset the existing division of the world because 
Mussohni, Hitler and the Mikado are madmen or "war-lovers." 
They are driven to military adventure by iron necessity. Their 
only alternative is economic and social death for their own na- 
tional capitaUsm, and they are fighting desperately against that 
death. No conceivable system of treaties or Leagues or "peace- 
ful economic sanctions" can stop them. A man faced with cer- 
tain death in one direction will fight against any odds in the 
other. , 

The originators of Collective Security know all this. And 
that is why they have never pretended to themselves that Col- 
lective Security is in reality a "peace program." It is a program 
to preserve peace (i.e., the status quo) as long as possible and 
convenient to the dominant powers; and in doing so to prepare 
for war they know to be inevitable on the most favorable 
physical and moral terms. 

Collective Security is a way of cementing military alliances 
in one of the imperialist coalitions. It has the great advantage of 
making the members of the opposing coalition appear to be 
the "breakers of the peace," thereby permitting the mobilization 
of popular sentiment against them. 

This last feature explains why Browder has now so ardently 
taken up the slogan of Collective Security. He knows, as well 
as Briand knew and Auriol and Chautemps and Daladier know 
today, that Collective Security is in the last analysis not a pro- 
gram for peace but a program for war. And he is using Collec- 
tive Security in his attempt to make the war which he believes 
will aid his master popular among the people of the United 
States. Collective Security is his banner for enlisting the masses 
in this country in the next war of American imperialism. 

Ill— THE DREAM OF ISOLATION 

The idea of "collective security" has never been popular 
with the majority of the people of this country. This has been 
proved on a number of occasions, most conspicuously during the 
period following the last war. In spite of the fact that the war 
itself showed that neutrality for the United States in a major 
European conflict was impossible, as soon as the War was over 



Americans wanted to steer clear of Europe. 

This sentiment was reflected in the Senate. Wilson came 
back from Versailles with his head full of the new Treaty, 
Briand's plans for collective security, and the grandiose scheme 
for the League of Nations. The Senate blocked adherence to 
the League, and in doing so undoubtedly represented majority 
opinion. 

Even now, with the entire Administration, especially Roose- 
velt and Hull, driving for collective security, and with the out- 
standing bourgeois press holding the same perspective, the 
anti -collective security Ludlow Amendment came close to a 
majority in the House of Representatives. 

The majority of the people has been traditionally in favor 
of "isolation"; or, as it is often called, "neutrahty." There are 
historical reasons for this feehng, so different from opinion in 
Europe, even among the masses. For one thing, there is the 
important geographical fact that the United States is far away 
from any other great power, whereas the European nations are 
situated right next to each other. Again, there is the carry-over 
from the hopes of the American Revolution, which was to build 
a new civili2ation freed from the conflicts of the Old World. 
And, in addition, there were the unparalleled resources and 
opportunities for expansion on the North American Continent. 

There was always, of course, hypocrisy and unreality in 
the idea of "isolation." Isolation from Europe was found to 
be perfectly consistent with the ruthless extermination of the 
native inhabitants of North America. The Monroe Doctrine, 
dating from the early years of United States history, was hardly 
an "isolationist" conception. In actuality, from tiie point of 
view of United States capitalism, isolation and neutrality mean 
only that up to a certain point in its history the United States 
had a sufficient sphere for exploitation and advance in the 
Americas, and did not need to develop a "world outlook." 

As the United States entered the imperialist stage of its 
development, the economic basis for the policy of isolation was 
destroyed. The idea of isolation Hngered on in a vacuum. This 
was already clear in the Spanish War. It was fully shown by the 
War of 1914-18. The ramifications of American capitahsm had 
become world-wide, and it was drawn irresistibly into the vortex 
of world affairs. 

With the last War, the United States became a creditor 
nation, and has since become the first and most powerful of the 



10 



imperialist powers. Its whole internal economy now depends 
upon its stake in the world market. Without its foreign trade 
and foreign capital investments, it would be bankrupt within 
six months. Far from decreasing in importance, the foreign 
trade and investments must necessarily play an ever more cru- 
cial role. 

In the New Republic debate over collective security be- 
tween Earl Browder and Charles A. Beard, there is no doubt 
at all that Dr. Beard has much the best of the argument. He 
understands what Browder's argument means, that it means ad- 
vocacy of and preparation for war; and with his mature and 
rather tired irony he exposes Browder's meaning. He knows 
what Roosevelt is up to: "The Roosevelt Administration, be- 
wildered and baffled by the economic impasse at home, is em- 
ploying sentimental coverages for excursions abroad." 

He knows how "peace-loving" France and Great Britain 
are: "Having all the European territory required by their tradi- 
tional ambitions and loaded with the spoils of empire. Great 
Britain and France do want peace — at their price. . . The great 
democratic powers want peace and the possession of all they 
have. . ." He knows that Italy and Germany and Japan are 
driven by conflicts too great to be stopped by any peaceful "quar- 
antines": "I find in history no justification whatever for as- 
suming as truth that Italy, Germany and Japan would surrender 
unconditionally to a grand quarantine." 

He knows also just what "democracy" is worth to imperial- 
ism, and just how democracy is served by imperialist war: "Does 
any one conversant with British history really believe that the 
operations of the British government since 1914, let us say, 
have been controlled by some conception of democracy, as dis- 
tinguished from British interests in the Mediterranean, Africa 
and elsewhere? Or the operations of the French government? 
What did these governments do for democracy in Germany be- 
tween 1919 and 1933? . . . And if it comes to another war for 
democracy against the three offenders, have we any ground for 
expecting beneficent results in the way of a universal democratic 
advance? All I ask any one to consider on this point is the 
record. . ." 

Lastly, Beard knows the real direction of Roosevelt's pro- 
gram, which Browder so ardently defends: "That Roosevelt 
would take them in (to the next world war) swiftly if it comes 
is highly probable. . ." 

11 



Beard knows all these things about the Roosevelt -Browder 
program, about collective security. But what does he propose 
in its place? In the debate he makes no explicit proposals. His 
views, developed elsewhere in his writings, are left implicit. 
They are the views of isolationism; he wants the United States 
to stay home and mind its own business. 

But, in truth, this alternative is no alternative at all; and 
Beard's program is no program. The truth is that the business 
of U. S. imperialism is everybody's business. The truth is that 
foreign trade and capital markets are necessary to U. S. capitalism 
if it is not to collapse. There are not enough markets to go 
around among the powers. The competition for them is a life 
and death question for each power. Therefore, in the end, they 
—including the United States — fight each other for them. 

To assume that the U. S. capitalists, controlling the U. S. 
government, will not fight under such circumstances, is to as- 
sume that they will voluntarily abdicate, will stand by while the 
social system which supports them goes bankrupt. Does Dr. 
Beard, with all his historical knowledge and his irony, make 
such an assumption? 

The idea that isolation is possible for imperialist United 
States is thus an empty illusion, utterly unrelated to historical 
and economic reality. If it and those who advocate it are less 
treacherous than collective security, the illusion of isolation is 
also a most powerful danger. For it is an illusion which leads 
the masses away from the genuine fight against war, dissipates 
their energies in empty air, and leaves them helpless when the 
war breaks out in spite of —in part because of —the illusion. 



IV— MARXISM AND COLLECTIVE SECURITY 

In their editorial notice preceding the debate between Earl 
Browder and Charles A. Beard, the editors of the New Republic 
write: "No more important subject is before the American 
people today than the question of foreign policy usually de- 
scribed by the alternatives of 'collective security' and 'isolation.' " 

The hearings on the naval appropriation measure before 
the House of Representatives Naval Affairs Committee were 
similarly conducted in the light of this same alternative: "col- 
lective security" or "isolation." Every speaker who appeared 
before the Committee supported, with whatever personal modi- 

12 



fications, one or another of these two policies. 

Beard and Browder, also, throughout the course of their 
debate, assume that the choice is limited to these two policies. 
Neither of them makes any mention of any third possibility. 
Each of them takes for granted that if he can refute the position 
of his opponent, then his own view is thereby proved. 

This should serve to indicate that the two positions of 
"collective security" and of "isolation," in spite of the seeming 
contradiction between them, do in point of fact share impor- 
tant features in common. However great the gap between them 
may appear, they are in fundamental respects alike. 

The two positions are alike, in the first place, in that neither 
analyzes the actual cause of modern war. Both argue merely 
on the surface, as if war were due to the wickedness of individ- 
ual men, the eflFect of this or that law, or the success of some 
clever bit of diplomacy. 

They are alike, secondly, in proposing a solution for "the 
problem of war" within the framework of capitalism. Collec- 
tive security and isolation equally pre-suppose the continuing 
existence of capitalism. 

Thirdly, they are alike in that each offers as its solution 
a program for adoption by the government of the United States: 
that is, each proposes as its answer to the war crisis a set of 
actions to be performed by an imperialist state. 

As a consequence, both of these policies, both collective 
security and isolation, are in the last analysis not programs 
against war at all, but are part of the preparation for war. 

They act as part of the preparation for war in a number of 
decisive ways. For example, since both of them, and their 
advocates presuppose support of the imperialist government of 
the United States, they aid in building up attitudes of loyalty 
toward that government; and thus, when the government goes 
to war, as it will, the same attitudes of loyalty will keep support 
behind it for the war. 

Both policies, moreover, by hiding the true nature of war, 
of the U. S. government, and of imperialism in general, spread 
disastrous illusions among the people, and divert any genuine 
struggle against imperialist war into a chase after impossible 
dreams. 

Even more fatal is the fact that both of these policies, each 
in its own way, impotent to fight against war, serves to ^ve 
moral justification to the war when it comes. This happens 

13 



partly because, as the last war showed, the leading spokesmen, 
known publicly as "the leaders of the peace movement," go 
over to open support of the war as soon as it starts. The masses 
reason: If these men, who lead the fight for peace, support the 
war, then it must be a good war; and, even if it is not, we 
cannot oppose it effectively without their help. But these policies 
themselves provide moral justification apart from the men who 
advocate them. The war will be propagandized as a lawless 
breaking of collective security, or a violation of neutrality and 
isolation; and thus the very fight for peace will seem to the 
masses to demand a war to enforce the "peace policy." 

Marxism, therefore, does not answer collective security by 
an appeal for isolation. Marxism, bases its answer to the prob- 
lem of war squarely and bluntly upon a truthful analysis of the 
nature of war and of capitahsm. Any other basis must lead to 
lies, illusions, or demagogy. 

Marxism points out that so long as capitalism endures, 
wars will come, that war under capitalism is not an "accident" 
or an "exceptional event" but an integral part of the very mech- 
anism of capitalism. War is just as much a part of capitalism 
as are economic crises. You cannot have capitalism without hav- 
ing periodic crises and you cannot have capitalism without 
periodically having wars. The causes which bring about 
wars, the inescapable need for every advanced capitalist nation 
to attempt to expand its markets, gain cheaper sources of raw 
materials, find new outlets beyond the internal market for capi- 
tal investment, can none of them be eliminated without elimi- 
nating capitalism itself. 

Every capitalist government, above all every imperialist gov- 
ernment — including outstandingly the U. S. government — is 
therefore committed to war "as an instrument of national policy" 
by the very fact that it is a capitalist government. To ask it to 
renounce war is like asking a living man to renounce oxygen. 
From these considerations, it follows that the struggle 
against war, the genuine struggle, is simply an aspect of the 
struggle against capitalism and for socialism. This is the truth 
of the matter, however unpleasant a truth it may seem. If 
capitalism necessarily brings about war, you obviously cannot 
get rid of war without getting rid of capitalism. To divorce 
the struggle against war from the struggle against capitalism 
is in reality to give up the struggle against war, so far as any 
possible effectiveness is concerned. 

14 



This simple truth is systematically obscured by both the 
ignorant and the conscious liars. So many persons wish to sat- 
isfy their consciences by feeling that they are "working for 
peace"; but at the same time they do not wish to take the risk 
of working against capitalism. To these persons we must say: 
Deliberately or unconsciously you are fooling yourselves. Which 
do you really want — peace or capitalism ? You cannot have both. 
If you are unwilling to give up capitalism, then your pretended 
fight for peace is a fraud, and a fraud which aids no one but 
the war -makers. 

The day-by-day class struggle of the workers, which by 
strengthening the working class is implicity directed against 
capitalism, is thus a far more realistic means of checking the 
war preparations than all of the pacifism, isolation and collective 
security ever imagined. Fear of what the workers may do is the 
only real hindrance to the war-makers. They laugh at, and 
exploit to their own ends, the propaganda of isolation and col- 
lective security. 

In the end, however, the overthrow of capitalism itself is 
the only conceivable means for stopping war. Socialism, and it 
alone, will end war because sociahsm, and it alone, will root 
out the causes of war. The program of the socialist revolution, 
when the question is finally and fully understood, is the only 
anti-war program. 

This does not mean that it is impossible for revolutionary 
socialists to unite with others not yet accepting their perspective 
to further certain specific objectives. Both concrete actions, such 
as boycotts and demonstrations, and even primarily agitational 
measures directed against specific moves of the war-makers 
("Withdraw all U. S. Armed Forces from the Far East," 
"Against the Naval Appropriations," "All War Funds to the 
Unemployed") can legitimately serve a hmited purpose. But 
for the revolutionary socialists these must always be subordinated 
to the general perspective of the class struggle. 

To Browder and to Beard, then, as to Roosevelt, the Marx- 
ists in the end give one short reply: The answer to war, the 
only answer, is the socialist revolution. 

Published by 

SOCIALIST WORKERS PARTY and 
YOUNG PEOPLE'S SOCIALIST LEAGUE (4th International) 

March, 1938 

15 



ENLIST NOW IN THE HGHT 
AGAINST WAR 



IF you are against the wholesale slaughter 
of the workers of the world; 

IF you are against the world-wide tyranny 
of fascism; 

IF you are against the criminal destruction 
of the results of centuries of labor in cre- 
ating the wealth and culture of the world; 

THEN YOU ARE AGAINST 

CAPITALIST WAR! 



SOCIALISM ALONE CAN END WAR! 

THE SOCIALIST WORKERS PARTY ASKS FOR YOUR 
SUPPORT IN ITS ANTI-WAR CAMPAIGN. 

JOIN THE 
SOCIALIST WORKERS PARTY 



READ! 

The Socialist Appeal — weekly newspaper 

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The Challenge of Youth — monthly publication of the YPSL 

published by 

The Socialist Workers Party 

The Young Peoples Socialist League 

(4th International) 
116 University Place, New York City 



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